|Publication number||US6997309 B2|
|Application number||US 10/790,485|
|Publication date||Feb 14, 2006|
|Filing date||Mar 1, 2004|
|Priority date||Mar 3, 2003|
|Also published as||CA2517677A1, CA2517677C, CA2517685A1, CA2517685C, DE602004001674D1, DE602004001674T2, DE602004009044D1, DE602004009044T2, EP1599397A1, EP1599397B1, EP1599398A1, EP1599398B1, US7246700, US7331448, US20050109583, US20060070856, US20070221481, WO2004078619A1, WO2004078621A1|
|Publication number||10790485, 790485, US 6997309 B2, US 6997309B2, US-B2-6997309, US6997309 B2, US6997309B2|
|Inventors||James C. Stebnicki, Dean A. Wieting, Kevin S. Hansen|
|Original Assignee||Rexnord Industries, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (32), Referenced by (22), Classifications (15), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/451,520 filed on Mar. 3, 2003 and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/529,539 filed Dec. 15, 2003.
The present invention relates to modular conveyor belts and chains, and more particularly to a roller cradle and a modular conveying assembly including at least one roller cradle.
Modular belting and chains are formed from interconnected modules that are supported by a frame and driven to transport a product. Each module has a support surface which supports the product as the belting or chain is being driven along the frame. Adjacent modules are connected to each other by hinge pins inserted through hinge members extending from adjacent modules in the direction of the belt travel.
Modular belts can transport products in the direction of conveyor travel, but have difficulty transferring a product, especially a high friction product, onto or off of the belt. In addition, high friction products can easily damage the belt if the product is transferred onto, or off of, the chain from a direction other than the chain direction of travel. A known conveyor belt disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,231,469 issued to Arscott solves this problem by supporting the high friction products on rollers. The rollers are supported by roller cradles, and extend above the cradle for rolling contact with an object being conveyed. The rollers reduce friction between the belt and the object. Unfortunately, assembling the roller in the cradle is difficult requiring insertion of the roller into the cradle, and then slipping an axle or two stub axles through holes formed through the cradle walls and into the roller. The axle must then be secured to prevent it from slipping out of one of the holes formed in the cradle wall.
The present invention provides a modular conveyor belt having rollers for minimizing damage to the belt when transferring high friction products. The rollers are supported by easily assembled cradles that are supported between adjacent belt modules. In one embodiment, the cradles include a first part and a second part. The first part has a first hinge member and a first shaft extending from the first hinge member. The first shaft has a hollow portion opening at a first shaft distal end. The second part has a second hinge member and a second shaft extending from the second hinge member. The second shaft has a second shaft distal end received in the hollow portion of the first shaft through the first shaft distal end to form the cradle. In another embodiment, the roller supported by one of the cradles extends into a concave portion of an adjacent module to minimize gaps between the roller and adjacent module.
A general objective of the present invention is to provide a modular conveying assembly that can transfer high friction objects without severely damaging the objects or the assembly. This objective is accomplished by providing a roller cradle in the assembly that supports a roller that reduces friction between the object and the conveying assembly.
Another objective of the present invention is to provide a roller cradle that is easily assembled. This objective is accomplished by providing a roller cradle assembled from two interfitting parts to form a roller supporting shaft extending between hinge members.
This and still other objectives and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the description which follows. In the detailed description below, preferred embodiments of the invention will be described in reference to the accompanying drawings. These embodiments do not represent the full scope of the invention. Rather the invention may be employed in other embodiments. Reference should therefore be made to the claims herein for interpreting the breadth of the invention.
A modular conveying assembly, or belt 10, shown in
The modules 12 are preferably formed using methods known in the art, such as injection molding, from materials known in the art, such as acetal, polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, and the like. Each module 12 includes a body 18 having a top surface 20 surrounded by a leading edge 22 and trailing edge 24 joined by side edges 26. Advantageously, the top surface 20 can prevent objects from falling through the module belt 10. Of course, the top surface 20 can also have perforations to allow air or other fluid flow for cooling, drafting, or draining.
The module body 18 has a width which is defined by the distance between the side edges 26, and a length which is defined by the distance between the longitudinal leading and trailing edges 22, 24. Leading edge hinge members 32 extending forwardly from the leading edge 22 of the module body 18 include coaxial openings 34. The opening 34 formed in each leading edge hinge member 32 is coaxial with the opening 34 in the adjacent leading edge hinge member 32 for receiving the hinge pin 14. Trailing edge hinge members 36 extending rearwardly from the trailing edge 24 also include coaxial openings 38. As in the leading edge hinge member openings 34, the opening 38 formed in each trailing edge hinge member 36 is coaxial with the opening in the adjacent trailing edge hinge member 36 of a module 12.
The forwardly extending leading edge hinge members 32 of one module 12 intermesh with trailing edge hinge members 36 extending rearwardly from an adjacent module 12. When the intermeshing hinge members 32, 36 are aligned, the openings 34, 38 in the aligned hinge members 32, 36 are aligned to receive the hinge pin 14 which pivotally joins the modules 12 together. Although hinge members 32, 36 extending rearwardly and forwardly from the leading and trailing edges 22, 24, respectively, are shown, the hinge members 32, 36 can also extend in other directions, such as downwardly, proximal the respective edges 22, 24 without departing from the scope of the present invention.
Each side edge 26 of the module body 18 includes a concave portion 40 defined by a concave surface 42 that opens toward, and faces, a concave surface 42 formed in the side edge 26 of the adjacent module body 18. The concave surfaces 42 wrap around a portion of the roller 17 supported between the adjacent modules 12. In one embodiment shown in
The cradles 16 are retained by the hinge pins 14 between adjacent modules 12, and are not attached directly to the modules 12. The position and number of cradles 16 in the belt 10 is customizable, and depends upon the conveyor belt application. Preferably, the cradles 16 are formed using methods known in the art, such as injection molding, from materials known in the art, such as acetal, polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, and the like. However, the cradles can be formed from other materials, such as metal, without departing from the scope of the invention.
As shown in
Each cradle 16 is preferably formed from two parts 54, 56. The first part 54 includes one of the hinge members 44 and the outer cylindrical shaft 48. The outer shaft 48 includes a hollow portion 49 opening at an outer shaft distal end 51. An axial slot 53 extends from the shaft distal end 51 toward the hinge member 44, and circumferential slots 55 spaced axially along the outer shaft 48 intersect the axial slot 53. The second part 56 includes the other hinge member 46 and an inner shaft 57 having radially extending keys 59 spaced axially along the inner shaft 57. A distal end 61 of the inner shaft 57 is axially received in the hollow portion 49 of the outer shaft 48 through the outer shaft distal end 51 to form the cradle 16.
The keys 59 are received in the circumferential slots 55 to axially lock the shafts 48, 57 relative to each other. Advantageously, the keys can be sized to frictionally engage the circumferential slots 55 to rotatably fix the shafts 48, 57 relative to each other. The keys 59 can formed as an integral part of the inner shaft 57, or formed separately and joined to the inner shaft 57 using methods known in the art, such as fasteners, ultrasonic welding, over molding, and the like, without departing from the scope of the invention.
Although keys extending radially from the inner shaft 57 that engage structure formed in the outer shaft 48 are disclosed to axially lock the parts 54, 56 relative to each other, the keys, or other interlocking structure, can extend radially inwardly from the outer shaft end engage circumferential slots, or other complementary structure, formed in the inner shaft without departing from the scope of the invention. Other methods known in the art can be used to fix the shafts together and form the cradle. For example, the outer and inner shafts 48, 57 can be sized to frictionally engage each other to fix the shafts 48, 57 relative to each other without additional interlocking structure. Moreover, the shafts can be bonded together using adhesives, welding, and the like, without departing from the scope of the invention.
The cradle 16 is assembled by slipping the roller 17 onto the outer shaft 48, and axially aligning the shafts 48, 57 with the keys 59 extending radially from the inner shaft 57 aligned with the axial slot 53 formed in the outer shaft 48. The distal end 61 of the inner shaft 57 is slipped axially into the hollow portion 49 of the outer shaft 48 through the outer shaft distal end 51 until each key 59 is aligned with one of the circumferential slots 55. One of the parts 54, 56 is then twisted, or rotated, about a shaft longitudinal axis, relative to the other part 54, 56 to urge the keys 59 into the circumferential slots 55 and axially lock the parts 54, 56 relative to each other.
The belt 10 is assembled by positioning at least one cradle 16 between concave surfaces 42 of adjacent modules 12, and aligning the trailing and leading edge hinge members 32, 36, 44, 46 of the adjacent modules 12 and cradles 16, such that the trailing hinge members openings 38, 52 are aligned and the leading edge hinge member openings 34, 50 are aligned to form a row of modules 12 and cradles 16. The trailing edge hinge members 36, 46 of the row of modules 12 and cradles 16 are intermeshed with aligned leading edge hinge members 32, 44 of an adjacent row of modules 12 and cradles 16, such that the openings 34, 38, 50, 52 in the intermeshed hinge members 32, 36, 44, 46 are aligned. A hinge pin 14 is then slipped through the aligned hinge member openings 34, 38, 50, 52 to pivotally link the modules 12 and cradles 16 forming one row to the modules 12 and cradles 16 forming the other row to form the belt 10.
In another embodiment shown in
The cradle 116 disclosed in
In another embodiment shown in
The cradle disclosed in
In another embodiment shown in
The second part 356 includes another hinge member 346 and the inner shaft 357 having the barbs 359 formed at a distal end 361 of the inner shaft 357. Each barb 359 include an outwardly facing camming surface 365 spaced by a longitudinal slot 367 formed in the inner shaft distal end 361. The slot 367 allows the barbs 359 to deform inwardly as the camming surfaces 365 engage the inner wall 369 of the hollow portion 349 of the outer shaft 348.
The cradle 316 disclosed in
While there has been shown and described what are at present considered the preferred embodiments of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention defined by the appended claims. For example, the shafts disclosed herein are cylindrical having a circular cross section, however, the shafts can have any cross section. Moreover, the hollow portion can be a concave surface, such as formed from a shaft having a semi-circular cross section, which is open along the length of the shaft.
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|U.S. Classification||198/850, 198/853|
|International Classification||B65G17/24, B65G17/40, B65G17/08, B65G17/06|
|Cooperative Classification||B65G17/24, B65G17/06, B65G17/40, B65G17/08, B65G2201/02|
|European Classification||B65G17/24, B65G17/06, B65G17/08, B65G17/40|
|Jun 8, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: REXNORD INDUSTRIES, INC., WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:STEBNICKI, JAMES C.;WIETING, DEAN A.;HANSEN, KEVIN S.;REEL/FRAME:015443/0583
Effective date: 20040309
|Jul 21, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MERRILL LYNCH CAPITAL CORPORATION, NEW YORK
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:REXNORD CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:017971/0375
Effective date: 20060721
|Aug 31, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MERRILL LYNCH CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS ADMINISTRATI
Free format text: RECORD TO CORRECT THE CONVEYING PARTIES ON A SECURITY AGREEMENT DOCUMENT PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 017971 FRAME 0375;ASSIGNORS:REXNORD INDUSTRIES, LLC F/K/A ADDAX, INC.; CLARKSON INDUSTRIES, INC./HIGHFIELD MANUFACTURING COMPANY; PT COMPONENTS, INC.; REXNORD CORPORATION; REXNORD INDUSTRIES, INC.; REXNORD NORTH AMERICA HOLDINGS, INC.; W.M. BERG, INC.;CHASE ACQUISITION I, INC.;CHASE MERGER SUB, INC.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:018194/0001
Effective date: 20060721
|Mar 27, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CREDIT SUISSE, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:MERRILL LYNCH CAPITAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:019063/0875
Effective date: 20070221
|Aug 14, 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Aug 14, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8